What inspired you to make this documentary?
A few years ago we made a documentary about actresses in American cinema. While making it, we discovered the existence of an entire wave of female directors in the 1980s. That was the initial catalyst. Then as we began to research the subject, we realised that there had been female directors – whom we had never heard of – as far back as the early 20th century,
How did you go about making the film?
The hardest part was finding archive images from the period. But we soon met Ally Acker, who was the first to become interested in the subject in 1986, and she gave us access to all the documentation we needed.
Your works focus on legendary characters, as in This is Orson Welles. What attracted you to these female directors, whose portrait you paint in Women who Run Hollywood?
The main idea was to do justice to them, to give them the importance they should always have had. Behind those men who are so well known in the film world, these women are hidden. Alice Guy Blaché was the first woman to direct films before Georges Méliès, Mabel Normand taught Charlie Chaplin to make comic sketches. An entire cinematographic language was invented by women, and that fascinated us.
What do you think of the male-female inequality in the broadcasting industry?
We're not very optimistic. In the film industry, women make more inroads in the independent sector. They don't make blockbusters or studio films. Those slots cost money and men are given priority. The question we ask ourselves is: why shouldn't women be able to direct films like that?
Your documentaries focus on American cinema and particularly on Hollywood. What explains this interest?
We inherited that from our father, who produced Mr. Klein and passed on his love for American cinema to us. From our earliest childhood, we watched American films and travelled across America.